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US Foods Lighting Retrofit Reduces Energy Use by 8%

Food distributors US Foods says it will save more than 2 million kWh in 2011 by retrofitting lighting throughout the company. Since 2007, lighting retrofits have reduced overall energy use by eight percent, or 34 million kWh, the company said.

Additional energy usage reduction projects are expected to save another 3 million kWh in 2012, the company said, as part of its ongoing sustainability strategy.

In November the company activated a 905 kilowatt, 3,934 photovoltaic solar panel system at its Phoenix, AZ, division, estimated to generate 15 percent of the division’s annual power needs. The system is leased from Del Solar. Two other solar installations operate in California, the company said.

US Foods is a certified EPA SmartWay partner for its management of fuel use and emissions. The company says it improved fleet efficiency by 5 percent by implementing strategies such as reducing idle times and routing deliveries efficiently. Energy-efficient, high-intensity fluorescent lights have also increased distribution centers’ energy efficiency by 15 percent. The combined efforts saved more than $22 million, the company said.

US Foods has a line of compostable, biodegradable and petroleum-free disposable products, made with renewable resources such as corn, sugar cane and potato starch, and distributes EPA-certified equipment including fryers, ice makers, refrigerators and freezers.

According to its website, the company helped set up a composting program for one of its food service clients that reduced waste at the facility by 84 percent.

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